The Natural Mother of the Child: A Memoir of Nonbinary Parenthood


Product Details

$26.00  $23.92
Counterpoint LLC
Publish Date
5.6 X 8.3 X 1.1 inches | 1.14 pounds

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About the Author

KRYS MALCOLM BELC's work has appeared in Granta, Black Warrior Review, The Rumpus, and elsewhere, and has been supported by the Sustainable Arts Foundation. Belc lives in Philadelphia with his partner and their three young children.


A Rumpus Most Anticipated Book of Next Year

This is a beautiful memoir of parenthood and selfhood that promises to expand the canon of literary writing on caregiving and identity. Belc is a nonbinary, transmasculine parent whose family story is here interwoven with revelations of the bureaucratic processes that are inharmoniously bound up with people's real lives. --The Millions, One of the Most Anticipated Books of the Year

A formally daring queer memoir about parenthood and inheritance and the way our bodies resist the binaries of the state; The Natural Mother of the Child is brilliant. --Carmen Maria Machado, author of In the Dream House

The Natural Mother of the Child is a scorching and propulsive memoir, a love story to all families built outside the status quo. This book is an ode, a reckoning, an education and an emancipation. A tapestry of forms, of narrative and artifact--and perhaps, most remarkable of all, is the poetry made of the words themselves. --T. Kira Madden, author of Long Live the Tribe of Fatherless Girls

All memoirs offer a study of a body through time, but my favorites make this fact transparent, refuse to separate the self from its tangible form. This memoir is an embodied story--of non-binary parenthood, of true partnership and the challenge of navigating systems which were not designed with us in mind, but on which our most intimate decisions sometimes depend. Above all, this is a love story, one which tracks the evolution of self through the relationships that define it. I loved this portrait of a queer family's making, its proof that the ways we love and are loved create us. --Melissa Febos, author of Abandon Me & Girlhood

This is a gorgeous memoir about families, raising children, and figuring out how to live in a world where intimate matters are both inscribed by individual history and entangled with the workings of the State. A work of solace and communion, this book is destined to be a major addition to the literature of parenthood and selfhood, one that will be read for years to come. --Lydia Kiesling, author of The Golden State

Krys Malcolm Belc's lyrical memoir brings much-needed nuance to all these old conversations about baby-making, families, parenting, and gender. Belc's narrative of his conscious creation of self and family is generous, resonant, and powerful--I will be pressing this lovely book into the hands of all the parents and parents-to-be I know! --Andrea Lawlor, author of Paul Takes the Form of a Mortal Girl

Parenthood is full of the questions we don't always know the answers to, and in Krys Malcolm Belc's The Natural Mother of the Child, Belc's courage to ask his questions frankly and unflinchingly is riveting. These beautiful moments of intimacy, many written to loved ones, help us explore the history of a family, a community, and the expectations of who we call mom and who we call dad. --Dustin Parsons, author of Exploded View: Essays on Fatherhood, with Diagrams

Krys Malcolm Belc's The Natural Mother of the Child is the best book I've read on the complexities of queer parenthood, which is to say it gathers just about every human concern into its margins: devotion, doubt, rage, place, community, the mysteries of attachment and legacy and the body. On top of that it resonates with all the candor of a love letter. An exquisite, unforgettable debut." --Paul Lisicky, author of Later: My Life at the End of the World